The last thing New York Giants defensive lineman Danny Shelton wants to do is to disappoint Joe Judge a second time.
When the 6'2" and 345 pound Shelton says that, he's speaking from experience. During the 2018-2019 seasons in New England, Shelton said he messed up a couple of times while on the field goal unit, then run by Judge as the Patriots special teams coordinator, letting Judge down.
"I hated that I did that and tried to get back on field goal and tried to prove myself," Shelton said Friday.
Shelton didn't say if he got another chance to make amends to Judge for messing things up, but Judge has forgotten about it, considering Shelton was brought in after an injury-filled season last year with the Lions to play a big (pun intended) role on the Giants defense.
That role is the big-bodied run-stopping nose tackle, previously held by Dalvin Tomlinson, who departed via free agency to the Vikings. Shelton, a first-round pick out of Washington by the Cleveland Browns in 2015, is still very much a force against the run, having recorded 140 career stops in 1,655 career run-defense snaps.
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Judge spoke glowingly about Shelton's work ethic and attitude, both from their time in New England and more recently since Shelton's arrival at the Giants.
"I see the same thing from my time with him in 2018 as I do now, and that’s a guy who, first off, comes in every day with a huge smile. Nice guy, loves life," Judge said.
"As far as a player, he’s obviously a big, athletic man. You see the way he showed up at initial tests -- which you guys weren’t there for, but you see a guy with that size run the way he did and work through the summer on some things he had to overcome, and work through from some spring injuries and some nicks and bumps that he couldn’t go through all the way. It showed his commitment and work ethic to what he’s pushing himself to do."
Just another day at the office for Shelton, who said his familiarity with Judge's expectations for both the team and the individual players has made his adjustment to life as a New York Giant an easy one so far.
"The way I look at it is I got an opportunity to work, so coming in and wherever they need me, I’m going to be ready," Shelton said.
"Whether it’s me getting in the playbook, me getting in the weight room, cardio, conditioning, I’m just going to do everything I can to get on the field and help the team win."